Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Saint Paul brings Course of Study here


Beginning in September, classes for Course of Study will be offered at Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University.

Course of Study is a path of education for Local Pastors. The 2010 Oklahoma Conference Journal lists 117 part- and full-time Local Pastors under appointment.

Saint Paul at OCU initially will offer study for those clergy who are in part-time service. Each semester, one class will meet on three Saturdays.

The first class will be "Pastor as Interpreter of the Bible," taught by Jim Darby. Dates are Sept. 10, Oct. 8, and Nov. 5. Hours will be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., with lunch included.

Deadline is July 11 to sign up for that class. Prior to enrollment, a student must complete licensing school, have superintendent approval, and be serving a local pastorate, explained Audrey Williams, registrar.

The Spring class will be "Pastoral Care for Spiritual Formation," slated for Jan. 28, Feb. 25, and March 24.

Because part-time Local Pastors often are bivocational, Saint Paul leaders hope the weekend format will best accommodate their needs.

"When I started as dean, a number of district superintendents asked if we were going to have Course of Study here in Okla- homa," said Elaine Robinson, who leads Saint Paul at OCU. "Over the past three years, we have worked to figure out how we can. To bring it here means people don’t have to travel away."

The General Board of Higher Education & Ministry (GBHEM) oversees Course of Study for the denomination. The five-year curriculum consists of 20 classes.

Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the seminaries authorized by GBHEM to offer the course. Thus approval extends to the seminary’s site at OCU, described Rev. Dr. Robinson. In Kansas City, Rev. Dr. Darby is the new director of Course of Study.

"In whatever way we can support the education of persons for ministry—whether clergy, Local Pastor, or laity—that’s what we do," said Dean Robinson.

"If there’s a need of the Church that we can support, we’re going to do our best to make it happen. That’s always been my commitment from the beginning."

She said about 200 people typically attend Course of Study each summer in Kansas City.

"Part of educating is for each person to discover who God created them to be, their gifts and graces to be the Church of Jesus Christ," Robinson said.

"To be ordained, you ordinarily go through seminary, one path of education. Course of Study is another path. Both are intended to allow persons to serve in ministerial functions in the Church. It depends on how you think your education is best served."

Register via email, cos@spst.edu,  or call 816-245-4815.

Learn more online—required reading, pre-session assignments, enrollment form.

More from Saint Paul at OCU:

  • First-ever graduation ceremony, Aug. 19, at OKC-St. Luke’s Church

  • Seminary Lite, new educational program for laity, Fall 2011





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